A Christmas miracle

A Beaconite would like to report a Christmas miracle. On Tuesday, he had an 11:10 a.m. appointment to renew his immigration time at the Immigration Department. As usual, he brought his laptop and came prepared to wait for a few hours. Not this time. The courteous security guard greeted him warmly and allowed him inside straightaway. About 30 minutes later, he was called to the service window, where he was again greeted warmly and processed within minutes. From start to finish, the process took well under an hour, and it couldn’t have gone smoother. The Beaconite thanks the staff for their kindness and efficiency and hopes that the days of long waits are over.

From the experts

A Beaconite has been pleased to attend recent press conferences that shed light on the work various government ministries are doing. A couple of weeks ago, she attended one that showcased the Department of Disaster Management’s involvement in a soil-study programme, and this week she attended another about a water-quality-monitoring programme under the Ministry of Natural Resources and Labour. She’s pleased to see experts in their fields sharing their scientific knowledge. She believes that understanding such information will help inform decisions of great importance to the community. The reporter has heard of the rapid changes that have altered the lives of Virgin Islanders over the years (and seen some through old photographs). She wonders if the ongoing studies should have been done sooner and in a more thoughtful way before the rapid development of recent decades. Either way, she’s pleased to see science being used to understand the territory better and to harmonise the growing demands of population increase and globalisation with the natural elements.

World Cup heartbreak

The human heart can only take a certain amount of excitement, but this weekend the 2022 World Cup champion will walk away with football’s most coveted prize in Qatar. Recent weeks brought intense competition and plenty of heartbreaks. And fans may be seeing the last of three stars at a World Cup: Neymar Junior, Lionel Messi, and Cristiano Ronaldo. A Beaconite was heartbroken a few times as his favourite teams were eliminated during the first round and in major upsets in the quarterfinals. But it has been a thrilling experience, and this weekend he hopes to see even greater excitement as a new champion of world football will be crowned.

Premier’s party

The premier’s Christmas party started quietly on Saturday evening at the Cyril B. Romney Tortola Pier Park. But a Beaconite who arrived about an hour after the 6 p.m. starting time was pleased to see that Premier Dr. Natalio “Sowande” Wheatley was among the handful of attendees already on the scene. This was a welcome change from other leaders who have shown up late for their own events in the past. As the evening wore on, more and more people arrived, and by 9 p.m. a healthy crowd of attendees were bobbing their heads to spirited Christmas music from Leon and the Hotshots and other performers. The party, a Beaconite thinks, was a hit. He always enjoys hanging out in an informal atmosphere with the government officials and others he works with on a day-to-day basis.

Heart-warming holidays

This week was filled with holiday cheer for a Beaconite as she got to say hello to Santa Claus again at Nanny Cay for the Humane Society of the BVI’s annual party, then hosted a small holiday dinner with friends over the weekend. Cooking for nearly 20 people was no small task, but making memories with the friends she’s made over the years was the best present she could request. Rounding out the early festivities, she looks forward to this weekend’s pantomime play — which she missed last year — before heading out to enjoy a bit of snow in Wisconsin. Though the predicted sub-zero temperatures have her slightly nervous, she’s sure the joy of participating in wintery activities will keep her plenty warm.